Monthly glass collections to be trialled in in four Northumberland areas to boost recycling

Monthly kerbside glass collections are set to be trialled in four areas of Northumberland in a bid to boost recycling rates.

By Ben O'Connell
Friday, 2nd October 2020, 6:12 pm
Alnwick is among the areas for the pilot.
Alnwick is among the areas for the pilot.

Last year, we reported that the county council was looking to offer kerbside collections for a number of extra items, as it seeks to recycle more than half of all its household waste.

At the time, it was reported that although less than 15 per cent of all waste was sent to landfill, the amount of household waste being reused, recycled or composted had plateaued in previous years, dropping slightly to just over 36% in 2017-18.

Therefore, at its meeting in February 2019, the authority’s cabinet agreed to fund an evaluation of proposals for four-weekly glass collections, with the option of introducing collections for plastic pots, tubs and trays as well as food waste at a later date.

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Now, the cabinet is being recommended to approve a year-long trial of kerbside glass collections from around 4,000 households – 1,000 each in Alnwick, Bedlington, Hexham and Morpeth, to avoid ‘incurring excessive cost’.

The report, which will be discussed first at the Wednesday, October 7, meeting of the communities and place committee, says that the aim of the trial is to ‘get a better understanding of set-out rates, participation rates, container numbers, glass particle size and health & safety implications across a range of different property types and demographic groups’.

It adds: ‘This approach enables the council to utilise its existing refuse collection vehicles, with a driver and two loaders at each of the four selected depots being asked to undertake one day’s overtime on one Friday per month to deliver the glass collection pilot.’

The initial duration would be 12 months with a review after nine months to analyse costs and benefits, while the total cost would be £105,000 – £43,000 on the labour, fuel and communications campaign, plus £62,000 to buy the bins.

The report to councillors also says that the modelling has shown that continued alternate weekly recycling and refuse collections with the addition of monthly glass collections and weekly food collection ‘meets the obligations of the resources and waste strategy and achieves the council’s recycling ambition of a 50%-plus recycling rate’.

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